We moved into our house almost a year and a half ago and it took me a full year before I was ready to start decorating, painting, and putting large holes in walls. There are a ton of things I love about this house, the first being the bedrooms--there are enough for everyone to have their own room and as a bonus--everyone has their own bathroom too! (except for Alex and I that is, although we can share ;) ).
OK, now I will whine a little. The main floor living spaces are are smaller than I would like. The kitchen and family room especially are too small for us. We end up using the dining room--which is really large--for homework, computer time, craft projects, etc and I'm always trying to think of ways to make the dining room more functional (or turn it into my office/craft room but there are a bunch of issues with that). Anyway, this leads into today's project that I have to show off and I am so, so happy with the way this turned out.
This very large dining room has a little niche.
We were thinking about adding some shelves but a desk would be so much more useful. As a bonus I discovered that the really nice chair rail that I didn't want to deal with removing is at the perfect height for slipping a desk/shelf in underneath. Perfect I tell you! I couldn't believe it when I started to plan out this project and discovered that. (Note: this may be a standard chair rail height that everyone should just know but I have no idea what standard chair rail height is or should be).
Materials. My first idea was to have a stained shelf/desk, so I got some nice 1/2" plywood cut to fit the niche (which is 52" by 18"). It was around $30 for the sheet, but I still have 3/4 sitting in my basement awaiting another project.
We got 1"x2" and cut pieces for the back of the wall and the side supports.
We screwed the 1"x2"s into the studs. Unfortunately we didn't find any studs on this small right hand side except for a the very end near the corner so if this whole little desk/shelf fails in a few months we'll know why.
We added 2 'L' brackets at the rear because we felt like it would give the shelf more support. Then we slid the plywood top into place and screwed in the 'L' brackets to keep everything sturdy.
There it is, our new little desk/shelf. I'll be back to show you the finish.